Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sign, sign everywhere a sign

UPDATE: Friday High-Noon.
So my other friends at Hampshire Life--the Friday weekly magazine published by the Gazette also addressed this Rt. 91 sign issue (and since they are a weekly with a bricks-and-mortar deadline, I'm fairly sure their story was in the pipeline before my upload on Tuesday). Although I find it even more alarming that these signs will appear over ALL of the 776 miles of state roadways at a cost of $1,720,000):

So while my friends at the Springfield Republican are ridiculing the $timulus $igns that cost $2,700 each (as of course they should) informing folks their tax dollars are at work, I'm kind of wondering about all the new signs along Rt 91 that designate every .2 of a mile and at every mile a larger one with the Rt 91 logo.

Hmmm, so five signs per mile times the 55 miles between the Connecticut and Vermont border is how much? And if your clunker breaks down do you really, really need to know within .2 of a mile exactly where you are?

The emergency call boxes, spaced about every mile, are equally useless. Massachusetts is the only state to use them on Rt. 91 and I bet they never get used because the three in a row I tried did not work. The technology looks like something from the 1970's and does not even allow voice communication.

And in this day and age where everyone has a cell phone why not spend the money on making sure there's cell reception along the entire route and replace the call boxes with cell phone stations?

Yes, I hit the top button not one of the emergency ones. Nothing happened (no beep, no light.) Waited two minutes. Then tried the next one down the road; same thing. Then the third one, where I sat for 25 minutes just in case a wrecker showed up. It did not.


Anonymous said...

LK Wreckers
serving the I-91 community for 5 generations.

dominique said...

Gov Patrick Announces I-91 Broadband Project
Paul Tuthill (2009-07-28)
Listen Now

NORTHAMPTON, MA (WAMC) - Massachusetts is going to spend 4 point 3 million dollars to lay fiber optic cable beneath Interstate 91. It is part of the project to expand broadband access throughout all of Western Massachusetts... WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports....
© Copyright 2009, WAMC

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, let's hope the Broadband Project actually works.

And if so, Skype is free. They could install a few internet phones along the road that only use Skype and then a person in trouble could actually see and talk to a 911 operator.

Anonymous said...

As I recall the call boxes on 91 were a project of Amherst resident, Jane Garvey, back when she was in charge of the MADOT before she headed down to Washington to head the DOT for Clinton.

LarryK4 said...

Well, at least she performed admirably on THAT awful morning (9/11).

Max Hartshorne said...

Oh those call boxes have a great story. Installed for a huge sum before cellphones, they are utterly worthless and didn't quite work even in 1980. Can't believe they are still up there.

Anonymous said...

Off the subject --- Amherst super on CBS3, "We need to start preparing the community for an override."

Maybe he should first become a tax paying property owner and demonstrate a commitment to the community by moving his family up here, before talking override. Just a thought!

Anonymous said...

Larry, you nitwit.
It is dangerous to stop your car in the breakdown lane of the highway. This is for emergencies, only.

You must have a boring life if you have time to sit there and wait for a response for 20 minutes.

This is really a non-issue. Of all the government $ wasted, this is a very small fraction.

I do enjoy reading your blog though, you're like the grumpy old guy from the Muppet show. Sometimes you are spot on, and other times (like this), you are good for a chuckle. Thank you. - Anon.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah Nitwit, and it's even more dangerous to break down on a Mid-January evening when it's 20 below zero with two kids sleeping in the car.

You try one of the call boxes and figure maybe it's just bad luck it does not work.

So you trudge a mile to the next one try again and cool down dramatically while waiting that minute or two.

Then figure there could not possible by three in a row out of order so you slouch to the 3'rd one and by then you are dead of hypothermia.

Maybe State Police discover the car in time to save the kids...maybe.

Anonymous said...

Stay with your car and your children!

It is much safer to stay with you car and wait for help.

Ed said...

Those call boxes were the product of the last Democrat Governor, Mikey D. And the MSP have long urged them to be replaced with cell phones (which the GOP Gov - I forget which one) started to do.

I remember an article where they interviewed a MSP Dispatcher who said that when those buttons got pushed, he didn't know if it was a flat tire or bodies strewn across the highway - but with a cell phone (direct dial to dispatch) he did.

Route 2 also has those 2/10 mile signs up too. Wonder how many will last the winter...